The word paradise is branded about a lot , is there such a thing? Religions will have you believe that if you behaved in this life you get to get to a place where you can have whatever your heart desires.

Those of us who are not religious believe that may be we can create our own in this world, albeit for a short time. Of course we all have our own idea of what makes it work for us.

For me it is plants, sunshine, birdsong and if possible a turquoise sea! Well as it happens am at such a resort right now and it feels amazing.

Am in Mauritius , my very first visit to this island. An off peak holiday to escape the storms and the rains we all had lately made this holiday amazing.

My journey from home to Gatwick was full of flooded roads, gale force winds and a chill that got into your bones. It took almost four and half hours to get there. Once there things happened as planned and were soon air borne. I didn’t expect the flight to be as full as it was ,it seems a lot of my country folk have had enough of this grey winter and wanted time out.

We reached Mauritius an hour ahead of schedule, it seems the weather was so good and the winds obliged making our journey smooth and fast.

The airport is not very busy so we got a landing slot immidieatly and embarked blinking in the strongest sunshine and warmth, our winter frozen bodies lapping it up. The passage through the customs and the health check was rather slow , after which we were let loose on this lovely island.

As you descend on Mauritius, for a while you just see a expanse of blue ,the sky and the sea merge , it is hard to distinguish where the sky ends and the sea begins. Shimmering , soothing blue to welcome you.

Being driven to the hotel I was struck as to how clean ,un cluttered and wie the roads were, the road signs, round abouts are very British . The sides of the road are lined with fields of sugarcanes , sugar and Rum being their man industry though am told “Eroupe has cutdown a lot on their sugar , preferring the Beet variety’, which I think now Britain too produces.

The resort is beautiful. Rooms are all on the ground floor ,spacious and light , with palm and coconut trees around it ,these trees have variety of birds and it is joy to hear them ,as well as see the boldly hopping on the lawn, singing and even having the odd fight in full view!

They are not shy.

As it is half term in Europe , there are loads of families here with young children, though I would have never even considered taking my kids when there were little on such a long haul flight ,just for few days, it seems it is different world now , children are resilient and parents have patience!

The largest number of guests are the elderly British, I have so far met quite a few of them who have been coming here for many years, for 2-3 months at a time. Some have mobility problems but the hotel provides buggies and scooters and medical facilities.

One 90 year old gentleman who has been coming here for the last ten years is one case in point. He lost his wife a while ago and felt in winter he went for weeks without any human interaction, coming here provides him not just the sun and the warmth but human interaction. The staff are very friendly and always stop and chat to you.

I felt that it is a sad indictment on our society that we forget our elderly. They somehow become an alien species, as if old age is optional, and only some will get it! We expect them to fit in , by keeping active, being involved and doing things. Well they have done all that haven’t they? How about just valuing them for their life experience and the wisdom it brings, how come here the elders are revered ,cherished and pampered ? We obviously have such fast paced lives that we cant find time to give our elders the time and the respect they deserve.

Some would say that they can fly off to sunny climes and be looked after, ah but how many can? I dont think I can do this year after year ,and there are many who cant even think of such expense.

May be a pause for thought for all of us.

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